In this beginner’s guide, we explain how you can get into the glam biz of raising show goats.
Here are some of the things we cover:
And much more! Let’s get into it:
What Are Show Goats?
You probably already know this (because you’re reading this guide!) but show goats are goat breeds that are raised to be “showed” at agricultural fairs.
The first recognized Show Goat Fair was at Illinois State Fair in 1946.
Shows put goats in the public eye thus improving their public image. Shows also give goat breeders opportunities to be recognized and an opportunity to talk with other breeders. The best show goat wins many prizes. You can show both dairy goats and meat goats.
Show Goat Breeds
Below I will describe some of the best show goat breeds currently in the United States:
Dairy Show Goats
These goats originated from the French Alps and were introduced to the USA in the 1920s. They are beautiful animals with a black coat with beautiful white markings. They have erect ears and a straight muzzle line. Ideal height is an average of 30 inches for does and 33 inches of bucks. The breed is noted for its high milk production. They weigh an average of 170lbs and 135lbs for bucks and does respectively.
These goats originated in the Saane Valley in Switzerland. They reach a height of 90cm and 80cm for bucks and doe’s respectively. A mature male weighs about 165 pounds while a mature female weighs about 110-130 pounds. White to pale cream in color, they have black spots in the nose and udder, have erect ears and pointed facing forward. They are heavy milk producers and are the most common dairy show goats.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats
These goats were imported to the United States from West Africa in 1930s to be used in exhibitions. They can produce 700 pound of milk annually and weigh around 80 pounds at maturity. Just like pygmies, they are a small dairy goat breed with a height of 28 inches at the shoulder. The Nigerian Dwarf is recognized as a show, pet and dairy goat.
Originated from Toggenburg valley in Switzerland. The breed is medium size in appearance. Does weigh at least 120lbs and bucks 140lbs. They are noted for their excellent high milk production and udder development.
The scoreboard for dairy show goats provided by the ADGA assigns the following; mammary system 35%, dairy strength 20%, general appearance 35% and body capacity 10%.
Meat Show Goats
The South African Boer goat is the most prevalent breed of goats because of its high fertility and capacity to breed in harsh climatic conditions. They have a color pattern of brown and white and have lop ears. A mature buck weighs 135kg while a doe weighs 100kg. The Boer is the most common shown meat goat breed. The scoreboard for meat show goats is as follows, for bucks 55% is allocated for general appearance, 30% for dairy strength in does and 15% for body capacity.
Show Goats Prices – How Much Do They Cost?
Show goats in the US tend to range from $75 to $300.
This cost depends on factors like age, temperament and sex. Does range form $250-$300, Bucks sell at $150-$250 while weathers are the cheapest, sold for around $100.
How to Raise Show Goats
Goats are great animals to keep in a farm. They require little maintenance and are popular in commercial use and in the show ring.
Raising show goats is totally different from raising goats for commercial purposes that is milk, meat and fiber production.
When raising show goats, you have to have a good breeding and kidding program. You have to breed the animals so that new kids may be ready for the next show time. Breeding is also key since it helps you have a goat that fits the judge’s specifications for you to win prizes.
It is also important to advertise your business if you are raising show goats. Advertising is crucial since it helps people see what you have got and also you can sell the show goats individually to buyers.
How to Raise a Winning Show Goat
You have to take into consideration the following basic facilities and management techniques if you want to raise a winning show goat.
Basic care and management for show goats:
Basic facilities required for your show goats
How much food does it take to raise a meat goat for show?
Meat goats for shows should be fed a grain based diet with minimal amounts of hay. Feeding them a grain based diet improves body composition by adding muscle and skeleton. Recommended Nutrients Requirements for show goats are:
Feeding 2 to 3 days per day helps maintain a healthy rumen and encourage appetite.
Building Muscle in Show Goats
A show goat should have a smooth muscle tone. Building muscle is a basic process but essential for your goat to win honors. Follow the following steps in order to add muscle to your show goats.
Boer Show Goats – What to Know About Showing Boer Goats
Management of your Boer goats is key to have success. Make sure to provide daily nutrition and care needed to produce a winning Boer goat. Below is some key information about Boer show goats. And what to look for if you want your goat to be the champion.
Showing Dairy Goats – What You Need to Know
Showing dairy goats is based and evaluated under four major categories:
This includes the structure of the head, shoulders, back, feet and legs. A winning dairy goat should have a beautiful general appearance.
This includes the dairy productivity of the goat. It should be followed by flatness of the bone and openness of the ribs
The teat size, teat placement udder shape and placement are very important. These are important because they indicate a long and productive life
This entails the depth and width of body ensuring strength and vigor
Show Goat Supplies – Supplies You’ll Need to Show Your Goats
The following are the supplies you will need to have when showing your goats.
Show Goat Exercise Equipment
Show goats must be exercised in order to be competitive. Ways of exercising goats may include treadmill, hurdles and walkers.
Treadmill for Show Goats
Treadmills are intended to build muscle while a walker will tone muscle. There are many goat treadmills available on the market.
Show Goat Feed
Feed the show goats with a high protein diet. Increased protein helps build more muscle. Small amounts of hay will provide enough forage for the goats. The Nutrients Requirements in the feeds should be as follows:
Show Goat Feed Program
Find a balanced ration when feeding your show goats. Start feeding the goats with quality alfalfa hay top-dressed by the purchased feed. Then after three to four days you can change to the balanced ration of your choice, decreasing hay. Hay should be eliminated during the latter stages of your feeding program to prevent goats from getting a large stomach:
Best Show Goat Feed
Feeds with high proteins are the best for your show goats since protein helps in building muscle. Below are some show goat feeds commonly used by producers in the United States:
Show Rite Goat Feed
Show Rite is a feeds brand designed to provide your show goats with modern and technologically advanced nutrition. Show Rite goat feeds include:
Purina Show Goat Feed
Purina feeds offer protein fat and fiber nutrients in pellet forms which give your goats an edge in the competition. They have a balanced nutrition that supports performance, health and proper growth.
Show Bloom for Goats
You can feed your goats show bloom 90 days prior to the start of the show for better results. You can feed 3 oz Show Bloom per day. Goats must have good diet to reach full genetic potential. Show Bloom supports growth and overall condition of the show goats.
Show Goat Feed Recipe
A good feed recipe is one that you have mixed for yourself meeting the requirements you want for your show goat. Below is a feed recipe you can use to feed show goats:
12% min protein, 4.5% min fat, 20% max fiber.
How to Show a Goat
Presentation makes a huge difference when showing goats. Be familiar with the following tips during the show:
Goat Showing Tips
How to Show a Goat at the Fair
In many shows, the goat’s cleanliness, neatness and physical appearance are generally considered by judges. The following are key when showing a goat:
Showing Goats in 4H
Showing Nigerian dwarf goats
Nigerian Dwarf Association goats are gentle, easy to handle and lovable and are great animals for children to show in 4H. Bucks are no more than 23 inches and does not more than 21 inches. Nigerian dwarf goats can blend with other animals. Even breeding bucks are gentle to handle and can be shown.
They need basic care like Hoof trimming, vaccination, worming. This help in having healthy Nigerian dwarf goats at shows.
Most feeders feed a 16-18% protein feed to build muscle in the Nigerian Dwarf Show goats.
Pygmy Goat Showing
Pygmy goats can be shown because they are easy to raise and are gentle. They can also be purchased relatively in expensively. Pygmy goats can be raised similarly to other showing goats.
Due to their nature, pygmy goats are raised by children for events like 4H. A mature buck stands at 26 inches and a doe stands at 23 inches.
Show Goat Pictures – Photos of Award-Winning Show Goats
Photo Credits: Winners - Umbarger Show Feeds